Coming off back-to-back losses, the Greendale football team needed to win its regular season finale to ensure a playoff berth.
On Senior Night, the honorees took matters into their own hands.
Led by superior line play on both sides of the ball, the Panthers exploded for four touchdowns in the second quarter en route to a 42-0 rout of Brown Deer, Oct. 12 at Greendale High School.
“Competition is a very fickle thing,” said Greendale head coach Rob Stoltz. “We’ve had a lot of things not go the way we had planned or anticipated to be certain, but this is a resilient group. That scoreboard doesn’t tell how talented Brown Deer is; they have talent. For our kids to do what they did tonight I thought was pretty special, and what a great memory for the seniors.”
The Panthers opened the game with a 79-yard drive that culminated in a 3-yard touchdown pass from Josh Ringelberg to junior wideout Mitchell Brees. Ringelberg was a perfect 4 for 4 passing on the drive and also rushed for 30 yards behind a steady push by his senior-led offensive line.
“We only have eight seniors in uniform, but those guys have been the glue that’s held us together for a lot of the year,” Stoltz praised. “They know this year will be remembered largely on their shoulders, as that’s how it is with any senior class, and I thought they provided great leadership this week.”
Later in the first quarter, a pair of 20-plus-yard receptions by Nate Miller and Cody Kmetz set up a 9-yard touchdown run by Ringelberg, who shot up the middle unscathed.
Propelled by a 62-yard kickoff return by senior Jordan Smith, the Falcons worked their way inside Greendale’s 10-yard line on their next possession before turning it over on downs. The Panthers promptly drove 92 yards in two minutes, scoring on a 43-yard touchdown bomb from Ringelberg to Brees to make it 21-0.
Brown Deer’s offense never recovered, and Ringelberg added three more touchdowns passes before halftime – a 35-yard deep ball to Miller, a 25-yard catch and run by senior tight end Peter Pekar and a 9-yard shovel pass to Pekar in the final minute of the second quarter. Just like that, Greendale led 42-0 and coasted to victory. The Panthers finished 5-3 on the season, good for third place in the Woodland-West.
“In all facets of our game, we’ve had roller coaster moments this year,” Stoltz said. “Tonight was an example of what happens when the parts of the wheel are working at the same time.”
Ringelberg threw for 222 yards and added 105 on the ground. Greendale’s defense also put up one of its best efforts of the season, shutting down the Falcons’ prolific passing attack.
“They were able to handle us up front,” Brown Deer coach Andy Green noted. “It’s a pretty tough defense to pass against.”
Despite the lopsided defeat, Brown Deer (5-3) won a three-way share of the Woodland East division title as Whitnall (5-3) also lost Friday night, 56-42 to New Berlin West, and South Milwaukee (5-3) knocked off New Berlin Eisenhower, 21-16. With the playoffs starting Thursday, the Falcons have to right the ship quickly. However Green remained confident.
“We’ll be back,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of heart on this team, so we’ll be ready for the playoffs.”